Tour hangover strikes again as a rather inept batting performance sees Hyde Heath felled at home by a nine-man Bourne End team. We should really play someone really, really bad immediately after tour.
We won the toss and, as usual, inserted the opposition. Brad and Jez bowled well to nip out one of their openers and a rather one-dimensional number three – at one stage we about six fielders between the keeper and point until he popped a leg-side catch to the keeper.
But from here problems arose as their number four – a semi-pro ringer from Portsmouth – announced his intentions by slamming his first ball, a full length delivery from Brad, back over wide mid-off for 6. At the other end Azhar interspersed sweetly timed lofted drives with frequent and frustrating air shots, and the pair proved rather hard to bowl at. The ringer hit one particularly memorable straight drive back over Luke's head before drilling a long hop from Shrimpie to Brad at deep midwicket for 53. After that they folded to 186 all out with Shrimpie finishing with four. On a flat pitch with a fast outfield the game was in the bag. Surely?
Well, no. Nicko opened up with Shrimpie, but both departed early, followed by Nick's mate Travis to a horrible mow (he'd looked pretty good before that). So it was down to Luke's mate Harry (who'd earlier kept wicket tidily) and Tim Barnsley to steady the ship, which they duly did in some style until Harry received a brutal lifter from the Portsmouth ringer, bowling off-spin.
From there, we lost Spence (although not until he'd hit a colossal six over the trees), Brad and Luke for very little and the innings was in tatters. When Tim was caught on the boundary for an elegant half century, Jez and I were too late to salvage anything and we were bowled out for about 130. A pretty dismal display. Thank god for skipper Nick's chicken tikka sandwiches at tea.